Opening The Poop's fingers I encouraged her to allow her palms to meet in order to generate the elusive noise she clearly craved. After a couple of successful attempts, Boo threw me off, with an "I know, I know, now get out of the way" jostle that I'm sure will become increasingly familiar over the coming months and years.
Then...she clapped. WITH SOUND.
She then looked to me, her eyes wide with delight and waited for the impending fanfare. I cheered, roared, hip hipped, sang, chanted, whooped and danced about. She looked at me with a slightly disappointed air, as if my lack of an actual cartwheel suggested I wasn't really proud. Little sod.
To give me a chance to redeem myself, she clapped again. Fortunately, it was at this very moment that Dave returned from work, and was able to run in and add an additional element of merriment to the previously deficient gala of joy. As he entered the lounge to news of our daughter's latest accomplishment, we both immediately broke into the pre arranged carnival of back flips, Highland jigs, fire eating, synchronised dance moves and a costly programme of pyrotechnics set to music.
The Poop observed the spectacle wheeled out by her browbeaten parents to commemorate this historic occasion and, suitably impressed upon its conclusion, she showed off by rewarding our efforts with three or four well placed perceptible claps on the run.
Oh God. Now she'd gone and done her very first ever round of applause. So we gave back word to Elton John and he turned up to belt out 'Clapping In The Wind' (why 'In The Wind' I dunno. I didn't ask; I didn't want to look ungrateful).
So she can definitely clap. And mostly, yep, it's cute. Except when we have to clap because I turned the tap on; because I turned the tap off; because I had a sip of water; because I put the glass down; because I picked Betty up; because I put Betty down; because I yawned; because I stopped yawning...
Then, right about then, it gets a little bit old.
So after three days of applauding E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.that happens in our house, we went to Morrisons, where everything in there was worthy of an ovation as well - particularly so the aisle with the tinfoil on - which I found a bit weird because I think there is very little choice.
As we completed our shopping and I absent mindedly participated in round after round of enforced applause, this time about a particularly stunning cabbage I had just picked up, I realised the basket under the pram was full. Emptying items from it to accommodate my cabbage, I removed a jar of jam, wedged it in the crook of my elbow and...yeah.
At the sound of the smashing, the store around me fell silent, in that horrible way people do when they're trying to pick out the loser that just wrecked something. Well they didn't have much picking out to do. With the strawberry gunk splashed all over my flip-flopped feet and spattered up my shins, and having formed a rather prominent L-shaped sticky red mess on my forehead, the idiot was rapidly identified. A few moments of silence followed, during which people struggled to determine what was jam and what was blood. Deathly quiet, everyone waited for my next move. Then, suddenly, the stillness was broken - by one slow, sarcastic round of applause.
From my own daughter.